Less than 24 hours after main event heavyweight Andreas Kraniotakes was denied a license to fight Tim Slyvia in the ProElite 2 main event on Nov. 5, Sylvia has his new opponent.
After his fight with Pedro Rizzo was scrapped due to an injury, and Kraniotakes wasn't approved by the Illinois State Professional Athletic Commission just Wednesday, Sylvia's new opponent will be ... Andreas Kraniotakes.
In a somewhat surprising reversal, the Illinois commission, according to sources close to ProElite, took another look at the fight and decided to grant Kraniotakes a license after all. In a story first reported by MMA Fighting, the commission had initially denied Kraniotakes a license because of a lack of sanctioned fights on his 12-4 record, many of which have taken place in his native Germany, which has only a short history with legalized mixed martial arts.
Sources told MMA Fighting that ProElite had indeed lined up a replacement fighter for Slyvia on Wednesday and anticipated that new opponent being approved by the Illinois commission on Thursday for a fight on just nine days notice. Now that won't be necessary, and Sylvia-Kraniotakes is back on.
In addition, HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon took to his Twitter feed on Thursday to say the fight would indeed remain as the main event of the show, which will take place at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill., on Nov. 5. The main card will air live on HDNet. MMA Fighting first reported last month that the card moved from Atlantic City to the Quad Cities area in western Illinois and would feature a main event between Sylvia and Rizzo with a co-main event of Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Fulton.
But less than two weeks ago, Rizzo pulled out of the fight with an injury and Kraniotakes, who has cracked the Top 100 heavyweights in the world in some rankings, was tapped as the replacement.
Early Thursday, Kraniotakes, who has been training for the Sylvia fight in San Diego, took to his official website to voice his disappointment in being pulled from the card.
"Ã¯Â»Â¿Eventually, the commission wouldn't give me a license for some reasons no one understands," Kraniotakes said. "I think the people making those decisions probably don't know anything about the sport. I did everything I could do, my management did everything it could do, ProElite did everything it could do to make the fight happen. But the commission just said no."
Perhaps everything that could be done eventually was enough, even if it is a day later.
A message asking for comment left for the Illinois commission's director of athletics, Ron Puccillo, was not immediately returned on Thursday.